Tuesday, December 8, 2015







By Cash Michaels

            OUTRAGE – No, of course I don’t like writing about Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump two weeks in a row, but let’s face it, the way it looks now, he could very much be the next GOP presidential nominee the way he’s going in the polls.
            Last week there was big consternation when the controversial billionaire met with a group of black preachers for the purpose of gaining their endorsement. It didn’t turn out to be all that Trump wanted, but he did get the nod from a few conservative preachers. No telling how much he has put in their collection plates.
            Then Trump came to Raleigh and held a jam-packed rally at Dorton Area last Friday night. But among the 8,000 in attendance were also plenty of demonstrators who interrupted Trump a record ten times, finally making him leave the state after 45 minutes.
            Kind of brought a smile to your face, didn’t it?
            But let’s face it, absolutely nothing compares to Trump telling the press that he wanted to “shutdown” all Muslim immigration to the United States in an effort to curb terrorism. Now that brought the proverbial house down around The Donald, and folks wonder whether he can survive this huge brouhaha.
            Well, given the way Trump has played the news media like a trumpet of late (pardon the pun), the answer is probably yes. There indeed seems to be a large conservative constituency who so hate President Obama, and so yearn for a “powerful” white guy to take back the reigns of control again, that they literally cheer every time Donald Trump promises that “America will win again” under his ego-driven lead.
            I guess what I telling you folks is this is a very dangerous time we’re going through, so dangerous that it looks more and more like the future of this nation is going to fall further into the hands of extremists who have every intention of changing the US Constitution that’s supposed to protect us all, to their own liking.
            That means folks can’t play games about voting come November 2016. You may have a problem with government as it is, but you sure as shootin’ don’t want what government might become if the wrong folks take the wheel.
            So pay attention to the issues, especially as we in the Black Press lay them out for you in this black newspaper. Remember, as a people, we’re very used to suffering, but that doesn’t mean that our children and grandchildren deserve any of it, or should ever get used to it.
            THE WIZ LIVE – Well, hand it to NBC Television. Their three-hour telecast of “The Wiz Live” was just what the doctor ordered during an otherwise miserable week that saw a nation reeling from shock from a terrorist attack in California.
            Based on the original 1975 Broadway musical which starred the legendary Stephanie Mills as “Dorothy,” the little black girl from Kansas who is swept away to the magical land of Oz, the live telecast was indeed magical and uplifting, featuring the high talents of Queen Latifah, David Alan Grier, Mary J. Blige, and newcomer Shanice Williams as “Dorothy.”
            Let’s face it, the African-American family hasn’t had good reason to all gather around the television set and cheer something positive in such a long, long time. This extraordinary production offered that opportunity, not only to come together and enjoy wholesome entertainment, but it also gave us elders a chance to share some black history with our young’uns, allowing us to share who Stephanie Mills is, telling them about the original Broadway play and the 1978 movie starring Michael Jackson and Diana Ross, and giving them some idea of what real talent is.
            So thanks, NBC. The ratings were great with over 11 million people watching on a Thursday night. The show will be rerun around Christmas, so watch for it again.
“BLACK PANTHER” FINDS A BLACK DIRECTOR – A couple of months ago it was reported that Ava Duvernay, the acclaimed director of the film, “Selma,” met with the folks at Marvel Studios about possibly directing a feature film about an African prince with super abilities called “Black Panther.” The character is actually making his debut in next May’s “Captain America: Civil War,” but having his own feature film will be the follow-up.
Duvernay, to no one’s surprise, had her own ideas about how to present the story, but Marvel already had its playbook set, so they all decided to part company amicably (we’re told). So now Marvel was up a tree. They have a major film about a black superhero, but no top named black director they can get a buy-in from.
Enter Ryan Coogler, known for his fine work directing Fruitvale Station, and the recent hit, Creed starring Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone. Young Coogler has gotten raves for his work, and so it was announced this week that he will be directing Black Panther, starring Chadwick Boseman, who has starred as James Brown in Get On Up, and as baseball legend Jackie Robinson in 42.
Black Panther is due out in 2018.
''Make It Happen'' on Power 750 WAUG-AM, or online at www.waug-network.com. And read more about my thoughts and opinions exclusively at my blog, ‘The Cash Roc” (http://thecashroc.blogspot.com/2011/01/cash-roc-begins.html).
           Cash in the Apple - honored as the Best Column Writing of 2006 by the National Newspaper Publishers Association. Columnist Cash Michaels was also honored by the NNPA for Best Feature Story Journalist of 2009, and was the recipient of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP’s President’s Award for Media Excellence in Sept. 2011.
          Until next week, keep a smile on your face, GOD in your heart, and The Carolinian in your life. Bye, bye.

           TRIANGLE NEWS BRIEFS FOR 12-10-15

            The four Wake County students involved in a fatal hit-and-run last June which resulted from a failed drug deal have all now pled guilty. The four were originally charged with murder in the death of Katherine Burdick-Crow, 16, of Cary, who fell off of a pickup truck trying to fight after she was robbed during drug deal. The four students were in the truck at the time. Jourdan Mack, 20, pled guilty to common law robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery, sentenced to 14 to 35 months in prison. Joshua Simmons, 17, pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter, common law robbery and conspiracy, sentenced to 16 to 29 months. Beth Strange, 18, and Abjah Masse, 17, also pled guilty to common law robbery and conspiracy.

            The Triangle area saw a .1 uptick in the jobless rate in October, rising from 4.9 percent in September to 5 percent. That’s in contrast to the state’s 5.7 percent, but equal’s the national average. Experts expect the Triangle rate to tick back down for November  due to holiday season hiring.

            Get ready to shell more money to keep your car safe and parked in downtown Raleigh. Beginning Jan 1, 2016, visitors to downtown on the weekends will have four parking decks to chose from – Wilmington Street Station, Moore square, City Center and the Municipal Parking. Motorists will pay a $5.00 flat fee entering from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. the next day Friday and Saturday nights. Parking will be free rom 7 a.m. Sunday until 7 a.m. Monday, and after 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday evening. Parking on downtown streets will be free after 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and all day during the weekends. Special fees for special event parking will be $5 to $7.00 in city decks.


            [CHARLOTTE] Six plaintiffs filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against the NC General Assembly challenging Senate Bill 2, which allowed court magistrates and employees of county register of deed offices to refuse to perform marriages for same-sex couples, based on religious reasons. The Legislature overrode Gov. Pat McCrory’s veto of the law last June. Conservatives supported the law, saying that magistrates should have the right to follow their beliefs without penalty.

            [WINSTON-SALEM] The superintendent of Guilford County schools has announced that he is resigning soon to become executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation next spring. Supt. Maurice “Mo” Green has led GCPS since 2008, when he came there after serving as asst. supt. of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Schools. The Reynolds Foundation in Winston-Salem supports educational and other public service causes through grants.

            [GREENSBORO] According to a new survey by Public Policy Polling, controversial billionaire Donald J. Trump is leading Republican candidates for president with his highest numbers yet, and his strident position against Islam seems to be fueling his popularity. In the most recent PPP poll, Trump has risen to 33 percent from an October high of 31 percent. He is followed by Sen. Ted Cruz at 16 percent, 14 percent for both Dr. Ben Carson and Sen. Marco Rubio, and five percent for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. The survey also found 67 percent support Trump’s call for a national database of Muslims, 62 percent believe Trump’s disputed claim of seeing “thousands” of Muslims cheering in New Jersey on 9/11, and 51 percent agree with Trump that Islam mosques should be shutdown in the United States.


By Cash Michaels

            When the murder rate of young black men between the ages of 15 to 34 is eight times higher than the national average, it’s time for your community to band together and do something.
            That was the sentiment shared this week during a community meeting of citizens and public officials in Durham. That stunning murder rate came from a US Department of Justice report on violent crime in the Bull City released last April.  One of the recommendations from that study was for city leaders to coordinate a community response to the sobering 577 cases of aggravated assaults with a firearm in just 2014 alone, up from 385 in 2013 and 461 in 2012.
            Retaliation shootings between rival gangs accounted for much of the gun violence last year, police officials say. Many of those shootings were into occupied homes, so if four people happened to be occupying the targeted dwelling at the time, that’s how many people were assaulted, and added to the statistics for that one shooting.
            Tuesday evening during a “S.T.A.N.D. Against Violence” meeting called by the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People and the Durham Interdominational Ministerial Alliance, that community response came. With 22 murders in 2014, and 37 homicides on the books for Durham thus far in 2015 with three weeks to go, community leaders, along with Durham Mayor Bill Bell, all agreed that something meaningful and long-lasting has to be done in order to make the Bull City a safer place to live and work.
            From the start, many in attendance declared that this would not be another “feel good” meeting, but rather the first in a series of substantive sessions designed to outline long-term strategies to not only reduce violent crime, but improve the overall quality of life in the community.
            Part of the reason why violent crime continues to explode on the streets of Durham year after year is because residents, particularly in the African-American community, have not only come to expect it, but sadly, accept it, many in the audience agreed, and that must end.  That means beyond law enforcement, community residents have to begin holding themselves and each other more accountable for their mutual safety, many said.
            That also means involving the Durham Public Schools, and ultimately the community’s children, who are most likely, given the statistics, to fall victim to gang violence.
            One of the most outspoken at the gathering was Minister Paul Scott, a longtime Durham grassroots activist and founder of the Messianic Afrikan Nation ministry, who recommended community-based vigilante groups called “the New Afrikan Guard” – a mixture of the Black Panther Party and New York’s famed Guardian Angels - to patrol neighborhood streets to keep them safe.
            "Forget the police department as far as preventing crime. Forget the politicians,” Minister Scott, who has been “deputizing” young people with a book and an armband to patrol the community, says. “It's time for the church."
            Many in the audience did not like Scott’s use of the term “vigilante,” which to them suggests citizens taking the law into their own hands, but the minister insists that he’s not referring to pitting violence against violence to keep the peace, but rather maintaining more of an organized presence on the streets so that criminals would realize they no longer had control.
            Still, the Durham Police Department is weary of Min. Scott’s venture, saying in a statement:
            "The Durham Police Department's mission is to minimize crime, promote safety, and enhance the quality of life in partnership with our community. Collaboration between law enforcement, residents, and community leaders and organizations is needed to create and maintain a community where all Durham resident feel safe."
            Min. Scott maintains that with the murder rate up some 68 percent over last year, Durham’s black community “can’t depend” on others to protect them, and must be about proactively addressing violent crime in spite of the police.
            With Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez stepping down, and city leaders beginning another national search for his replacement, Durham residents believe that now is the time have a greater stake in maintaining the safety and security of their neighborhoods.
            The US Justice Department report last April recommended that city leaders
build a greater trust between the police and the community, and do a better job of addressing “barriers” between law enforcement and the citizens that they serve.
            The next “S.T.A.N.D.” is scheduled for sometime in January.

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